Health Resorts

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Health Resorts


localities possessing natural curative agents (mineral waters, therapeutic muds, beneficial climate, sea bathing) and the necessary conditions for using these agents for therapeutic and prophylactic purposes. The principal type of treatment establishment on the territory of a health resort is the sanatorium.

The healing powers of nature—water, muds, air, and light— have been known since the most ancient times. Their use was especially widespread in ancient Greece and Rome. Many thermal springs and balneological structures founded by the Romans on the Black Sea coast were preserved until the 20th century.

In Russia, health resorts appeared at the beginning of the 18th century. The first was created at the ferriferous Martsia’nye Mineral’nye Vody, near Petrozavodsk, by order of Peter I. Health resorts were founded in the Northern Caucasus during the 19th century. Of the numerous treatment districts, six were state administered: the mineral waters of the Caucasus, Staraia Russa, Lipetsk, Sergievskie, Kommern (Latvia), and Busko (Poland). Others were supervised by cities, zemstvos, and private persons. The Gagra Health Resort, for example, was rented to the Prince of Oldenburg; the health resorts of the Crimea and the Caucasus—Livadiia, Miskhor, Alupka, Suuk-Su, Gurzuf, Bor-zhomi, and Abastumani—belonged to members of the tsar’s family and to the aristocracy. In Russia before the Great October Revolution there were several dozen health resorts, with 60 sanatoriums (holding 3,000 places; 1914). Health resorts were not accessible to the working masses.

In 1919, V. I. Lenin signed a decree transferring all health resorts and therapeutic localities to the republics to be used for therapeutic purposes. The means and prospects for their subsequent development were defined. More than 4,000 mineral springs, 700 beds of therapeutic muds, and 450 climatic regions were investigated by expeditions of scientific research institutes of health resort science. As of Jan. 1, 1973, there were about 400 health resorts, 2,200 sanatoriums (with 440,000 beds), and 1,158 rest homes and boarding homes (with 308,000 beds), providing rest and treatment for more than 19 million persons.

The construction and development of health resorts in the USSR, the principles of their organization, and the treatment and prevention of illnesses are conducted according to scientific principles, using the achievements of health resort science. The most effective use of the resorts is ensured by sanatorium and health resort selection and by accordance with the Fundamentals of Public Health Legislation of the USSR and the Soviet Republics, ratified Dec. 19, 1969 (Section IV: Sanatorium and Health Resort Treatment, arts. 44, 45, 46, 47).

The chief natural therapeutic factor of a health resort determines the resort’s basic classification: balneological, peloid, or climatic. If a resort offers several therapeutic factors, it is classified as climatobalneological, balneopeloid, climatopeloid, or climatobalneopeloid.

Health resorts, health resort settlements, and therapeutic districts located near one another are united under the designation of health resort regions or health resort groups. Examples of these include the Apsheron group, the Batumi region, the Bor-zhomi-Bakuriani group, the Caucasian Mineral Waters, the Crimean resorts, the Leningrad region, the Odessa region, the Riga seacoast (Jurmala), Sochi, the Tbilisi group, and the Black Sea-Caucasus coast.

The principal therapeutic factor of the balneological health resorts is the water of their mineral springs. These waters are carbonated (for example, at Kislovodsk, Arzni, Arshan, Bor-zhomi, and Darasun), sulfide-containing (hydrogen sulfide; for example, at Archman, Goriachii Kliuch, Eisk, Kemeri, Kliuchi, Liuben-Velikii, Mendzhi, Nemirov, Piatigorsk, Sochi, Sergievskie Mineral’nye Vody, Sernovodsk, Siniak, Surakhany, Talgi, Ust’-Kachka, and Chimion), or radon-containing (for example, at Belokurikha, Molokovka, Piatigorsk, Khmel’nik, and Tskhaltubo). There are also weakly mineralized nitrogenous and siliceous hot springs, with both hot and warm waters (at Alma-Arasan, Annenskie Vody, Kapal-Arasan, Goriachinsk, Dzhalal-Abad, Issyk-Ata, Kul’dur, Nal’chik, Obigarm, and Tkvarcheli). In addition, there are well-known sources of mineral drinking water in the USSR of various chemical compositon and mineralized to 10–12 g per 1 (at Borzhomi, Essentuki, Dzhava, Dzher-muk, Druskininkai, Zheleznovodsk, Kashin, Krainka, Morshin, Piatigorsk, Sairme, and Truskavets).

The most famous balneological health resorts abroad are Bad Elster, Brambach, and Wiesenbad in the German Democratic Republic (GDR); Ciechocinek in Poland; Borsec and Băile Herkulane in Rumania; Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně, Piešt’any, Poděbrady, and Františkovy Lázně in Czechoslovakia; Vrnjačka Banja in Yugoslavia; Bad Ischl, Baden-bei-Wien in Austria; Spa in Belgium; Bath and Buxton in Great Britain; Abano Terme and Salsomaggiore in Italy; Saratoga Springs, White Sulphur Springs, and Hot Springs in the USA; Baden-Baden, Wiesbaden, Bad Kissingen, Bad Nauheim, and Bad Ems in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG); Vitel, Vichy, Dax, and Aix-les-Bains in France; and Atami in Japan.

Among the pelotherapy resorts in the USSR are Berdiansk, Evpatoriia, the Odessa coastal salt lakes, Saki, Slaviansk, Staraia Russa, Druskininkai, Kashin, and Krainka, where various special muds are used for therapeutic purposes.

The principal therapeutic agents at the climatic health resorts are the special features of the climate and landscape. Characteristic of seaside climatic health resorts are elevated barometric pressure in the summer and decreased barometric pressure in the winter; an even temperature; the purity and freshness of sea air; and the high levels of ozone and sea salts in the air. However, seaside climate may vary sharply, even along the coast of a single body of water (for example, the climate of the southern coast of the Crimea is Mediterranean, whereas that of Sochi is subtropical).

The seaside climatic health resorts of the USSR include the resorts of Odessa, the Crimean coast (Evpatoriia and those of the southern coast), the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus (Anapa, Gelendzhik, Sochi, Gagra, Novyi Afon, Batumi), and the resorts of the Baltic coast (the Riga seacoast, the Leningrad health resort region, the Vyborg region). Some health resorts (Anapa, Evpatoriia) offer their services predominantly to children.

The climate of the mountainous areas is distinguished by lower atmospheric pressure; intense ultraviolet radiation; lower temperature; and pure and highly ionized air. The best known climatic health resorts in the mountains are Abastumani, Dili-zhan, Teberda, and Tsei.

The climate of the health resorts in the forested plains and steppes depends largely on location. Thus, the climate of the steppes of the southern European part of the USSR, northern Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Buriatia, and Chita Oblast is distinguished by very warm and relatively dry summers, moderately mild winters in the west and very cold winters in the east, and low relative humidity with low precipitation (200 to 450 mm per year). These resorts (for example, Shafranovo) feature climatic and koumiss therapy. The climate of the deserts of Middle Asia and the Caspian and Ural plains is characterized by warm summers in the north and hot, cloudless summers in the south, with a large number of sunny, very hot, and very dry days. Precipitation in these areas averages 200 mm or less per year. Bairam-Ali is popular among the Middle Asian health resorts.

The climatic health resorts abroad include Borovets, Varna, and Zolotye Peski in Bulgaria; Balatonfüred in Hungary; Zakopane in Poland; Eforie in Rumania; Bled, Vrnjačka Banja, Dubrovnik, Opatija, and Split in Yugoslavia; Zeebrugge and Ostend in Belgium; Bognor Regis, Bournemouth, Torquay, Brighton, and Eastbourne in Great Britain; Lido, Merano, and San Remo in Italy; Atlantic City, Newport, and Palm Beach in the USA; Biarritz, Cannes, Menton, Nice, and the Riviera in France; Davos and Leysin in Switzerland; and Kamakura, Nikko, and Oiso in Japan. Climatic health resorts (especially those on the sea and in the mountains) are also used for rest and tourism.

Multiple-approach therapy is practiced at health resorts. In addition to the natural therapeutic factors, this includes physical therapy, dietotherapy, therapeutic exercise, medication, and other forms of treatment. Outpatient course therapy is administered at many of the resorts.

There are a number of requirements set forth for modern health resorts. These are (1) the presence of well-studied resources—climatic, balneological peloid, and others—to ensure the normal functioning and development of the resort; (2) special hydrogeological, balneotechnical, and other devices, structures, and establishments for the effective use of the resort’s facilities (water catchment, wells, refreshment bars, drinking fountains, bathhouses, mud-treatment buildings, beaches, solariums, aerariums, swimming pools, physical therapy rooms); (3) treatment and prevention facilities (sanatoriums, boarding houses, polyclinics) to provide medical services to patients; in addition, at climatic health resorts, health-improvement facilities for rest and tourism (rest homes, boarding houses, summer rest communities, youth camps, resort hotels, tourist centers, motels, camping sites); (4) physical education and sports facilities and cultural, educational, and entertainment establishments (resort lodges, movie theaters, exhibition halls, libraries); (5) public eating facilities, shopping, and services (dining rooms, restaurants, cafés, stores, barbershops, repair shops); and (6) communal equipment and amenities that meet the requirements of proper hygiene (water supply, sewerage, energy supply, heating, clean air, and an abundance of greenery, parks, and flower beds).

A resolution of the Soviet of Ministers of the USSR of Aug. 28, 1970, established the division of health resorts into ail-Union, republic, and local resorts. The all-Union resorts in the RSFSR include those on the Black Sea coast of Krasnodar Krai, Kislovodsk, Essentuki, Piatigorsk, Zheleznovodsk, Nal’chik, Sergievskie Mineral’nye Vody, Belokurikha, the Leningrad health resort zone (on the coast of the Gulf of Finland), and Shmakovka (in Primor’e Krai). The all-Union resorts in the Ukrainian SSR include those on the Black Sea coast of the Crimea, Saki, Trus-kavets, the Odessa group, and Berdiansk.

The all-Union resorts in the Georgian SSR are Kobuleti, Ga-gra, Pitsunda, and Novyi Afon; in the Azerbaijan SSR, Naftalan, Istisu, and those of the Apsheron Peninsula; in the Latvian SSR, Kemeri; in the Kirghiz SSR, those of the Issyk-Kul health resort region; in the Armenian SSR, Dzhermuk; and in the Turkmen SSR, Bairam-Ali.

The councils of ministers of the Union republics approve the lists of republic and local health resorts. Sanatorium and health resort establishments are under the supervision of the republic and oblast departments of public health (56.2 percent of the beds), the Central Soviet of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions for the administration of trade union health resorts (32.3 percent), and various other offices (11.5 percent).

The practical management of sanatorium and health resort affairs and the organization of rest for the working people in the trade union system of the USSR is handled by the Central Council for the Administration of Trade Union Health Resorts, the republic soviets (except in the RSFSR), and the territorial, krai, and oblast soviets.

Patients are selected and sent for sanatorium and health resort treatment following the order established by the Ministry of Public Health, in collaboration with the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions. Patients are sent to sanatorium and health resort establishments without charge, at reduced prices, or at full cost.


“Osnovy zakonodatel’stva Soiuza SSR i soiuznykh respublik o zdra-vookhranenii.” In Osnovy zakonodatel’stva Soiuza SSR i soiuznykh respublik. Moscow, 1971.
Kurorty SSR. Moscow, 1962.
Zdravnitsy profsoiuzov SSSR. Moscow, 1967.
Borisov, A. D. Vazhneishie kurorty sotsialisticheskikh stran Evropy. Moscow, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Beginning in Boston, they were continued in a Boston suburb, on the shores of Lake George, in a Western New York health resort, in Buffalo, in Nahant; once, twice, and thrice in New York, with reversions to Boston, and summer excursions to the hills and waters of New England, until it seemed that their author had at last said his say, and he voluntarily lapsed into silence with the applause of friends and enemies alike.
He said closure of the highway will hamper movement of tourists to popular health resorts such as Pahalgam and Gulmarg.
This year, national and regional representatives, travel agencies, airlines, hotel chains and health resorts will display their services at the exhibition.
?itizens of Tajikistan who wish to rest in the health resorts of Uzbekistan can buy vouchers at the representative offices of the trade unions of Tajikistan.
(4) Certainly, in the interwar period the Soviet Union developed a model of a socialist health resort, and over the course of the late 1950s and 1960s, health resorts on a truly mass scale and of striking similarity developed all around the socialist Black Sea coast, in the USSR as in Bulgaria and Romania, alongside other urban settlement types.
Currently, in Croatia there are 13 special hospitals for medical rehabilitation (special hospitals, SH) and health resorts (HR) as health spa tourism providers.
The most important document regulating health resort-based tourism in Poland is the Act on Health Resort-Based Medical Treatment, Health Resorts, Areas under Health Resort-Specific Protection and Health Resort Municipalities (Ustawa z dnia 28 lipca 2005).
The mother ship of health resorts, Rancho La Puerta celebrated 75 years and keeps getting better.
trained at City College and -ence working in a range of hotels, health resorts and e Coventry woman was trained at City College and gained over ten years' experience working in a range of hotels, health resorts and salons across the region.
The new health centres will also come with general facilities such as swimming pools, sports clubs, health resorts, men's health clinics, consultative nutrition services, foot care clinics and cafeterias.
Summary: All-pedestrian complex will feature world's largest mall and indoor park, as well as hotels, health resorts and theatres.

Full browser ?